Skip to main content

Welcome to Marwen | Average Guy Movie Review


After a vicious attack leaves him with severe brain damage, Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) has to rebuild his entire life. In order to deal with the trauma he builds Marwen, a fictional World War 2 era Belgian town. Marwen is populated with dolls that represent his close friends and family, and it's a place Mark can retreat to and feel safe. But with the sentencing hearing for his attackers looming, things start to get a bit overwhelming.



Mark Hogancamp's story is a sad one, and yet, it's also inspiring. An artist robbed of his ability to draw, Mark would take pictures of the dolls who live in Marwen, in order to play out the stories he came up with. Many of these stories mirrored what Mark was dealing with in the real world. Having seen the 2010 documentary about Mark's life; "Marwencol", Robert Zemeckis decided it was a story he wanted to tell. But instead of simply telling Mark's story, Zemeckis wanted to bring the world Mark created to life as well.



Known for utilising the latest technology in the making of his movies, Zemeckis turned to motion capture in order to populate Marwen. In doing so, they have opened a window into this little world. And where Mark's two worlds meet, it's like some sort of grown-up 'Toy Story'. But thanks to this, not only do the dolls resemble the actors closely, their performances translate perfectly from the real world into Marwen. With such a fantastic cast you obviously want to get as much out of their performances as you can, but seeing the actors play the dolls as well as the people they represent gives the movie a very genuine feel.



But there is something odd about Welcome to Marwen...it's tone. More specifically the shift between light-hearted and sadness. This is often felt as we switch from Marwen to the real world (and vice versa). It's like the movie doesn't know what it wants to be. However, I think this is reflective of Mark's life. Since the attack Mark has had to relearn pretty much everything. With little or no memory of his life before, the man he is now is different to the one he was. He has had to figure out who he is, and where he fits in in this world. So the disjointed, almost confused tone (to me anyway) feels like Zemeckis' attempts to show audiences how it feels to be Mark Hogancamp.


Welcome to Marwen is a tragic yet wondrous story of a man trying to rebuild his life. The way in which he deals with his PTSD is fascinating. And thanks to some fantastic performances - not to mention some incredible motion capture technology - Mark's story is brought to life with the wonder and respect it deserves.

9/10


What did you think of Welcome to Marwen? Let us know by leaving a comment below or find us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also email us at moustachemovienews@gmail.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Snyder Cut | Wouldn't Be The First Time a Director Got a Second Chance

It seems that a fairly common occurrence amongst movies tied to Warner Bros. is the magical disappearing/reappearing director. Does that mean there's hope for the Snyder Cut? I certainly hope so!


Ever since Justice League hit cinemas in 2017 - possibly even before - fans have been calling for Zack Snyder's original vision to be released. Snyder famously faced issues regarding the darker tone and longer run times his movies were taking, especially after the negative response to 'Batman v Superman'. This of course led to rewrites of the superhero team-up movie, and certain plotlines established or teased in 'BvS' - including the epic Knightmare scene - being dropped. The director then left the production after the tragic death of his daughter. Joss Whedon was brought in by the studio to finish the movie, this included the completion of post production and some major reshoots, further altering the movie. All of which resulted in a movie that is drastically differen…

Dune | Moustache Trailer Reaction

Like one of the massive space ships that feature within it, the trailer for Denis Villeneuve's take on 'Dune' has landed... and it's magnificent. If you've not seen it, or you simply want to watch it again, you can check it out below:

Trying to tame Frank Herbert's legendary sci-fi novel, it seems, is a challenge like no other. But if anyone is up to the task, it's a fair bet that it's Denis Villeneuve. The French-Canadian director is no stranger to reviving beloved sci-fi properties; Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy sequel to the original Blade Runner, and an outstanding movie in its own right - the best of 2017 in my opinion. Add to that his previous projects (Sicario, Arrival, Prisoners), and you've got a director with a talent for combining complex narratives, fascinating characters and stunning visuals, in a way that's both gripping and intelligible.


From the moment the trailer begins you can feel the epic scale of what has been created here. Gr…

Long Way Up | Average Guy TV Review

Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, and the Long Way Round team are finally back for their third epic adventure, and given how 2020 has turned out, they did it just in time. Right now it's the closest we can get to experiencing these far off places, making 'Long Way Up' a perfect piece of escapism.

Beginning their trip at the southern most tip of South America, in Ushuaia, they'll travel 13,000 miles through 13 countries. Their route will have them criss-cross between Argentina and Chile, before entering Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and the US, crossing the finish line in Los Angeles.

This new adventure is quite different to their previous outings, and yet it all feels very familiar. Despite the gang being more than a decade older - not to mention some pretty life-changing motorcycle accidents for Charley along the way - the gang really haven't changed all that much. Not that that should come as much of a su…